Good question. I wonder what the moisture content of the estimated weights are (HUGE difference as water makes up the majority of a plants’ weight). Nevertheless, I would guess that the environmental impact is minimal to none as most of these plants are numerous compared to harvesting other plants such as hardwoods, rain forest plants, and even corn. Take lavender for example, if it takes 100 lbs to extract 1 lb, that is barely nothing when you consider that lavender grows wild and is abundant. One acre of lavender would probably produce over a ton of plant parts in one mowing for oil extraction (I am guessing based on my experience with a variety of different plant “harvesting”). And it grows fast. To compare weight, imagine mowing a one acre field of mixed weeds 3 ft tall down to 6 inches, you would have a few thousand pounds of plants that would quickly and naturally grow back in a couple weeks. The rose petals are at the extreme ratio but are expensive and used far less than the common oils.
Anyway, I found a local store that makes (distills?) their own. I enjoy going there to pick out and purchase my oils. Plus I love to support my community. However, I’m still stuck on the idea of food grade. My local place says their EOs are not food grade and shouldn’t be ingested. So do those MLMs do something to their oils to make them safe to consume or is my local place just saying that to cover their butts?

I could go on to describe exactly what I smell, but, like I said, this is my first meeting and my brain needs to sit with it and dissect it. I will just say that it is very complex. Because people describe it as being similar to valerian, I thought there was a good chance that I'd hate it as much as valerian. Just the complexity in itself is interesting and alluring to me, and the elements that I can pick out and name are all ones that I like.

He suggested an “old wives tale” remedy of tea tree oil in my shampoo. He is not typically an alternative medicine sort of guy, so I was surprised that he even suggested it. By golly it works! I have been a teacher for over thirty years –28 of them head lice free. I shared this idea with several colleagues and parents, and they all report the same results.
Massage: Place several drops of your diluted oil mixture into your hand and rub them together. Then spread that oil onto your skin — or your partner’s skin — with long strokes. The warmth and friction of your hands will dispense the oil directly into the skin, muscles and bloodstream. Using the right essential oils can relax tension, relieve sore muscles and even improve your skin. Plus it just feels so darn good to get a massage.

Most oils do degrade with age due to oxidation but there are some oils, such as sandalwood, vetiver, patchouli, etc. that actually get better with age, at least to a certain point (I am not sure anyone knows what sandalwood looks like after say 5000 years and I am pretty sure well before then the oil would “resinify” and become solid). Its typically the heavier oils that are high in sesquiterpene alcohols that get better with age. However, most oils, especially the citrus oils and the blue oils will degrade with age (at least within human lifetimes). Citrus oils are especially prone to degradation due to the high levels of limonene which oxidizes relatively easily. Even very small amounts of limonene oxide formation can totally destroy the odor of a once good citrus oil. In addition, wax formation in citrus due to monoterpene polymerization is also quite common over time. For this reason its best to go through citrus oils within a year, if possible.
These are the “leaf and twig” counterparts in the coniferous/evergreen tree system.  Again, these essences support the human/animal respiratory system. These are also known for their antibacterial, antiseptic properties and their ability to support the immune system.  These trees bridge Heaven and Earth, and their essences help us to do the same. They are grounding, yet they allow us to soar.

To date, there has been no company or organization that certifies essential oils. The MOA was established to fill this need. Companies who wish to have an independent organization test the quality of their oils for ISO compliance can contact the MOA to conduct independent testing and certification. Companies who pass these tests can then proudly state that their essential oil is of ISO quality and therefore is a true “Medicinal Grade” oil. Ethical companies will use this standard in their marketing literature. Oils produced only for fragrance need not apply.


Thank you for sharing your knowledge with us. I’m researching essential oils for treatment of an ear infection in my little one, and I wondered about “pharmaceutical grade” vs. other types, and your posts here have given me my answer. Your well-written responses to other people above have given me some great insight. I’ll do my due diligence before using anything on my daughter. You’ve done a great job of underscoring the need to know in order to have a safe and desirable outcome. Thank you.
Hello Ellen,I just started using YL and I started puttimg straight frankencense on a skin cancer that was needing cut out.Ive allready had one taken out the size of my thumbnail.The new spot is now gone but im still putting oil on til i feels safe.My freinds totally acned out face is now totally clear.Yes its costly,but you have the alternative to be a salesman(like marykay etc).+ work from home.As far as their license?have no clue though I dont see how a 9 country operation could be so careless .I love love their products,but i still find great natural products at cheaper cost.All i know is I found something that really works and still cheaper than a doctor for now.

I had psoriasis for years & kept on getting different creams & lotions from the GP but none of them worked. So 1 day I read up fully on the EO’s I had for cleaning & making face masks. I made myself a blend of oils, carrier oils, butters, vit E & I mixed that with some bees wax to make a balm. I couldn’t believe it within a week it had started to work. I thought I might of just been me getting less stressed so it es going on its own but I’ve since given the blend to 2 friends who suffer from psoriasis badly whom also couldn’t get any help from the GP. Now they both call it a miracle oil & have told me I should sell it. However I would like to do an aromatherapy course first so I could make other blends to help people & I have no idea on selling my products, so I’d have to look into that as well.
I'm a huge cinnamon fan. I gravitate towards cinnamon scented anything. I've been so disappointed in the other brands of cinnamon oils I've tried - they were usually too spicy, with almost a musky note to them - and I literally just sat and inhaled my GH cinnamon for about ten minutes, straight, because it was perfect! Exactly what I was looking for. The Sweet Orange was also divine! It smelled so fresh and pure! I love mixing it with the cinnamon in my diffuser. And the lavender...Also my favorite of the brands and types I've tried. I think I have them all, from Bulgarian to French to Kashmir, but this 40/20 lavender is wonderful! It's a strong scent, but it's soft and sweet, not at all cloying.
Essential oils can have complex biochemical interactions in the human body, she says—and different essential oils can create different reactions in our enzymes and hormones. One of the active ingredients in tea tree oil, for example, is Terpinen-4-ol, which was shown in studies to kill ectoparasites found on human skin and kill infectious amoebas that cause eye infections.
At NOW® we’ve established long-standing relations with our essential oil vendors, and we purchase our oils in large quantities that qualify for bulk discounts, which we then pass on to consumers in the form of everyday low pricing. We also sell direct to retailers instead of going through distributors, which can add as much as 30% to a product’s cost.
I learned a lot scanning the Blog about EO’s. Was considering gathering 3-4 I use a lot and sharing with the family as Xmas gifts. The Blog site really helped – especially Crubchy Betty’s list of 21 essential bits of info.I have only bought at GNC (ugh) but nice to have more options as fas as quality and price. I use peppermint EO just a drop iunder my nose at night to open up my sinuses and it works great! The peppermint is also helpful on temporals and behind the ears for sea sickness! And when I can’t sleep, the lavendar works wonders. Ginger is also a powerful anti-nausea EO for me.
Used the right way, they can help you feel better with few side effects. For example, you may feel less nauseated from chemotherapy cancer treatment if you breathe in ginger vapors. You may be able to fight certain bacterial or fungal infections, including the dangerous MRSA bacteria, with tea tree oil. In one study, tea tree oil was as effective as a prescription antifungal cream in easing symptoms of a fungal foot infection.
Let’s re-visit one point – if distillation is too long – this can increase the toxicity of the oil. This is because there will be a greater concentration of low-boiling fractions, and sometimes these include relatively toxic substances. Yet how often have I heard that commercial distilleries “shorten” distillation times for profit reasons? That genuine, therapeutic grade essential oils have to be distilled for longer, in order to extract all the important trace constituents?
My extensive collection of essential oils contains many produced from wood, bark and/or heartwood, including Amyris, Cade (Prickly Juniper), Buddha Wood, Balsam gurjun, Peru Balsam, Atlas Cedarwood, Himalayan Cedarwood, Texas Cedarwood, Virginia Cedarwood, Cinnamon  Bark, Blue Cypress, Emerald Cypress, Balsam Fir, Guaiacwood, Ocean (Maritime) Pine, Ravensara aromatica, Ravintsara, Rosewood, Indian Sandalwood, Australian Sandalwood, Fijian Sandalwood, and Zanthoxylum.
Do they sell essential oils of plants that are endangered? There are quite a few companies that are harvesting and using essential oils of plants that are endangered. You should be asking where your essential oil has come from; is it “endangered” and is the supplier trying to sell you an inferior/substituted product in its place, claiming that it is the same “quality” and standard.  If it is extracted from an endangered plant species, what is the current level of threat to that plant species? Finally, is there an alternative essential oil, with similar chemical components and properties that you could be using? You can keep track of current endangered aromatic species on cropwatch.org
The oils are steam-distilled or mechanically pressed from flowers, trees, shrubs, fruit, roots, rinds, resins and herbs. Each plant's essential oil has a different chemical composition that affects how it smells, how it is absorbed, and how it is used by the body. Even the essential oils from different varieties of the same species may have different chemical compositions, and can vary when the same plants are grown or harvested in different ways, or in different locations.
Cosmetics and drugs are regulated very differently. Although a few researchers have obtained FDA approval to conduct research on essential oils used therapeutically (as drugs), most essential oils are not considered drugs by official agencies. Thus, they are available to anyone without a prescription and questions of quality are handled as for cosmetics, foods, and flavoring agents.
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From what I have read on various websites and blogs there is no such thing as “therapeutic grade” since there is no system in place in this country to determine the grade of an essential oil. Since any brand of essential oils can be used for aromatherapy then all essential oils would technically be therapeutic grade since aroma therapy is a therapeutic use of essential oils.

Heavy Metal testing shows the amount of heavy metal content in the essential oil. When properly distilled, essential oils should not contain heavy metals. ICP-MS testing uses a high-energy medium called Inductively Coupled Plasma (ICP) to ionize the sample. The sample is then run through a mass spectroscope, which separates the sample into its elemental parts and provides a reading about which elements are present and at what quantities.
Such great information! I wish I had read the “warning” about diluting EO’s before putting directly on the skin. I purchased some essential lemon oil as I heard it was a a great way to brighten up the skin, clean pores etc. This morning after getting out of the shower, I liberally dabbed some on a cotton ball for that fresh clean feeling. What a mistake! Within seconds my face felt on FIRE, nothing would soothe it, I spread coconut oil on it hoping that would calm it down, I think it made it worse. Then I splashed ice cold water on it which seemed to help, but it took a good 5 minutes for the pain to subside. I was almost afraid to look in the mirror, fearing I would see blistered skin, thankfully all was good, just very red and that too went away. So please, please don’t make this mistakes of using undiluted EO’s and never, never on freshly washed, open pored skin! A very painful lesson to learn.
This curated list of the top 10 best essential oil brands contains oil companies discovered by myself during my training towards becoming a Certified Aromatherapist. This is a list, not a ranking. The essential oil brand that is best for you will depend on a mix of things: how you’ll use the essential oils; how many of them you need; and how much you’re comfortable paying for your oils.
I have never used either YL or DoTerra and am not affiliated with either company but I have some very serious concerns about the claims made by YL and their representatives, as well as their owner/founder and his moral standing. There are disagreements within the aromatherapy industry as to how oils can and should be used but I know several QUALIFIED aromatherapists and they all advise that NOT all oils should be taken internally or applied undiluted directly to the skin.
Plant Therapy – (This is my other favorite brand!) Plant Therapy is another great brand that I love to use. They promote safe practices of essential oil use, give fair prices for high-quality essential oils and even created a Kid Friendly line! In the summer of 2014, Robert Tisserand joined them and helped them to create a line of safe essential oil blends for children. As one of the leading educators in the world right now, for aromatherapy and safety, I was very excited to see him join up with Plant Therapy.
I’ve read the other blog about homemade deodorant and im looking to give it a shot. recently ive had painful reactions to deodorant and antiperspirant (all types and brands, even natural or organic like toms and green beaver) so im trying to get down to fewer and fewer ingredients. i have some essential tea tree oil and mixed it with some coconut oil but i still stink 🙁 . Im looking for an oil that i can use that will be strong but relatively “neutral” in smell ( im a guy so im not too interested in smelling like lavender), but it has to be able to be put on my skin without any reactions. Anyone have any suggestions?
Ugh. This is a tough one. I think they’re extremely overpriced. For example, 1/2 oz of bergamot YLEO is $32.50 and 1/2 oz of certified organic bergamot EO at Mountain Rose Herbs is $14.50. I see that YLEOs are “kosher certified,” which really doesn’t mean much of anything (as all plants and vegetables are automatically kosher and nothing special happens or is avoided that “makes” them kosher).
Thank you for taking time to answer my questions. I still feel a bit muddled about the subject, and still don’t feel that I have confident, validated proof to stand up to my YL friends and acquaintances, but maybe things will become more clear if I am able to study things out more for myself. There are so many differing opinions out there about how to use essential oils–would be nice to just have some straight, hard facts.
Essential oils aren’t created with carrier oils – they’re extracted using a variety of methods. The most common are cold-pressing and steam distillation. Most citrus oils are cold-pressed (the name is pretty self-explanatory: they’re pressed), but almost all other essential oils are steam-distilled: the plant matter is placed above steaming hot water, the steam takes essential oil from the plant, and travels through a condenser. After condensing, you’re left with water and a tiiiiiny bit of essential oil floating on top.
In the United States, aromatherapy is regulated by how it is intended for use: cosmetic, drug, fragrance, food additive for consumption, or “something else.” Therefore, if a claim is made by any natural substance or an essential oil that makes it appear as a drug, and it hasn’t gone through the FDA approval process for this, the claim is in violation of the drug standards. (This does not imply that the oil itself is unsafe, rather, that the proper protocol for approval was not adhered to.)
Amy, organic crops may be contaminated by pesticides from nearby farms, but 100% organic is not impossible, and contamination is the exception. Distillation probably does reduce the proportion of a biocide, but most of them do carry over and will be present in the corresponding essential oil, usually in the 1-10 ppm range. You will get very much more biocide into your body by eating non-organic foods than you ever could from a few drops of essential oil containing 2 ppm of a biocide. Getting back to your question, most certified organic essential oils are biocide-free, but some may contain biocides, and the only way to be sure is to analyze the oils. The presence of a biocide would be regarded as a contaminant, not an adulterant. (An adulterant is a substance intentionally added for profit reasons.) The bottom line is that a certified organic oil is, on average, very much lower in biocide contamination than one that is not certified. Having said that, some oils are biocide-free but are not certified. You might find this website helpful: http://www.ifoam.org/about_ifoam/standards/index.html

Let’s be clear that my beef isn’t with the product – it’s the misleading marketing done by the MLM’s that has led to their gross misuse. Essential oils are fantastic and their biggest benefit is when they are used in an olfactory sense – that is inhaled and smelt. Diffusing essential oils works wonders for stress, anxiety, and moods. Using diluted oils on the skin can be great for relaxation, to relieve pain, reduce inflammation and just to smell nice! They are a very powerful medicine and when used in these safe and non-invasive ways can help to balance the body and promote healing.
I just wanted to let everyone know I get my Now brand EO’s at iHerb.com. You can read the reviews of the different essential oils before you buy. They even have a rewards program at their site. They have low shipping costs of $4.99 and shipping is always free with a $20 plus order (on everything not just oils). If you are a first time customer you can use my code at checkout –>HIW400 <– and you will get $5 off your first order http://www.iHerb.com
Essential oils can be considered, fundamentally, as medication. Although derived from plants and natural resources they are still used as treatment for health ailments. The oil’s high concentration makes them very powerful and potentially dangerous substances if used incorrectly. It is imperative that you do thorough research before using any essential oil, because if used improperly they can cause serious health issues like allergic reactions, rashes, burns and long-term internal damage. The temptation to self-diagnose and self-prescribe can be a great influence in using essential oils, but without professional diagnosis and supervision you run a risk of causing yourself harm. With that in mind here are some very important guidelines to follow:
They're made from parts of certain plants like leaves, herbs, barks, and rinds. Makers use different methods to concentrate them into oils. You may add them to vegetable oils, creams, or bath gels. Or you might smell them, rub them on your skin, or put them in your bath. Some research shows that they can be helpful, if you know how to use them the right way. Always check the label and ask your doctor if you’re not sure if they’re OK for you to use.
CBD doesn’t intoxicate you. This means that people can enjoy the benefits of medicinal marijuana without having their daily lives impacted. More importantly, CBD does not decrease psychomotor skills or psychological functioning. THC acts on CB1 receptors, the pathways that are responsible for the psychoactive effects of marijuana, whereas CBD does not. The way CBD interacts with receptors also makes it non-addictive. It’s safe to use CBD salve for pain, mental disorders, and inflammation without the fear of undesirable side effects.
So, between their “extra” or more extensive methods of testing, their control over growth and harvest, the use of their own labs and equipment (which Gary Young states are the only instruments in the world that are matched and calibrated to the instruments used at the National Center for Scientific Research in France), YL openly declares that their oils are “therapeutic” grade and no other oils but their own are fully safe to be used neat or internally.
Thank you so much for this. I am being bombarded by doterra reps right now. I believe in essential oils but dislike mlm companies because they are so overpriced to pay down tge food line. I do have a few purchased from some others you have mentioned above and some not. Now I have a good place to start to build my own kits and feel confudent it will be a good oil. Thank you again.
It is important that people research the oils they are using – as not all EO’s are created equally and MANY on the market can be harmful when used improperly. Industry standards are very lax and an EO is only required to have a minimum of 2% essential oil in the bottle to be classified as pure – the rest can be synthetics or fillers. I chose Young Living Essential Oils because I know – without a doubt that from the minute the seed is planted to the minute it goes into the bottle – proper care and precision has been taken to ensure only the highest quality oil on the market. Young Living is the ONLY company in the world who has taken it one step further by having our own farms, doing our own harvesting, cultivating, distilling, testing and bottling of our products as well.
Nowadays, use of alternative and complementary therapies with mainstream medicine has gained the momentum. Aromatherapy is one of the complementary therapies which use essential oils as the major therapeutic agents to treat several diseases. The essential or volatile oils are extracted from the flowers, barks, stem, leaves, roots, fruits and other parts of the plant by various methods. It came into existence after the scientists deciphered the antiseptic and skin permeability properties of essential oils. Inhalation, local application and baths are the major methods used in aromatherapy that utilize these oils to penetrate the human skin surface with marked aura. Once the oils are in the system, they remodulate themselves and work in a friendly manner at the site of malfunction or at the affected area. This type of therapy utilizes various permutation and combinations to get relief from numerous ailments like depression, indigestion, headache, insomnia, muscular pain, respiratory problems, skin ailments, swollen joints, urine associated complications etc. The essential oils are found to be more beneficial when other aspects of life and diet are given due consideration. This review explores the information available in the literature regarding therapeutic, medical, cosmetic, psychological, olfactory, massage aromatherapy, safety issues and different plants used in aromatherapy. All the available information was compiled from electronic databases such as Academic Journals, Ethnobotany, Google Scholar, PubMed, Science Direct, Web of Science, and library search.
“Here is a truly natural solution, which has been shown to benefit your eye health and the only one I will use. Gary Young has used this recipe for his patients at the Ecuador Clinic for macular degeneration, health issues, cataracts, and improving sight. I’ve been using it for a couple of years and love it! I started using this recipe before I had to have a vision exam in order to purchase new contacts. And I knew my vision had deteriorated from my last exam. So I put the drops in my eyes every night for about 6 months prior to the exam and my prescription had not changed according to their records, but I know what I was not seeing and I know what I was seeing as a result of using these drops – clearly my vision had improved! The recipe is as follows:

No, DoTerra has NOT “done research. They are a multi-level marketing company using false claims about products. They pretend their products are the “most pure”, they invented a phrase indicating they are certified when they are not, and they are actually telling people – against ALL evidence that this is safe – to INGEST some of the oils. Stay away.
I just made some really nice cleaner using a spray bottle of 1/2 vinegar, 1/2 water and 6 drops citrus oil and a few peppermint oil (DoTerra). Cleaned the bathroom & under the sink areas (reorganizing day). It smells wonderful in there! And I really appreciate not having the chemicals in the house. Little by little I’m getting there. Wishing you well.
Enormous amounts of plants are needed to produce essential oil. In fact, on the extreme end, it takes 4000 pounds of Bulgarian roses to produce 1 pound of essential oil. Other plants like lavender only take 100 pounds of plant material to produce a pound of essential oil. Still, can you imagine how concentrated essential oils must be, in light of how many plants are used to produce them?

First, we are not an MLM company and don’t need those outrageous margins to pay a bunch of middleman distributors. Second, ZEVA was founded by Dr. Tracy Gibbs, a world-renowned pharmacognosist who has dedicated his life to the study of chemistry, hematology and botanical medicine with a goal of finding the right balance of natural products that will enhance consumers’ lives and offer profitable business opportunities to retailers. Dr. Gibbs and the executive team at ZEVA Essential Oils are a group of hard-working, honest business professionals committed to offering only 100% ISO certified essential oils, so consumers can trust the products to be the highest quality, and consultants can have confidence in the products they sell.
The purity of an essential oil is its most important characteristic. An essential oil that isn’t pure means you run the risk of putting germs, heavy metals, or adulterants onto or into your body, which can provoke irritation, adverse effects, or even sickness. Without an accepted standard for essential oil quality, doTERRA created its own testing process, calling it CPTG Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade®. The CPTG process certifies that there are no added fillers, synthetic ingredients, or harmful contaminants in their essential oils that would reduce their efficacy. doTERRA even goes a step further, putting all their products and the packaging through a battery of tests to ensure a long and effective shelf-life. This protocol ensures potency, purity, and consistency batch to batch.

A few can be used on cats, but in general I’d go with the advice of Doing Research On Everything First. If my boys don’t like the smell of something (like my fingers after using an oil and before I can get to washing up…funny story there from when my boys were young) there is no way I’ll us it on them. But there’s also the fact that their systems do react differently.
Most aromatherapy oil based blends will be between 1 and 5 percent dilutions, which typically does not represent a safety concern. As one increases dilution, potential dermal (skin) reactions may take place depending on the individual essential oil, the area in which the oil is applied, and other factors related to the client’s own sensitivity levels. Any excessive usage of essential oils may cause irritation or other undesired effects due to their lipophilic nature.5

Love this article and your references!! Much appreciated from someone who is new to the aromatherapy world and wanting more information. I hope to understand how to use EO for my family. I signed up with DoTERRA to get training and so far a month in haven’t received much training. So now I look for articles like this…wish I had a friend who was certified in aromatherapy so I can help my whole family understand what to use and how to use it with different problems. Reading articles helps but I definitely get overwhelmed with all the information…anyways love this article! Thanks!!
An essential oil is a concentrated hydrophobic liquid containing volatile (defined as "the tendency of a substance to vaporize") aroma compounds from plants. Essential oils are also known as volatile oils, ethereal oils, aetherolea, or simply as the oil of the plant from which they were extracted, such as oil of clove. An essential oil is "essential" in the sense that it contains the "essence of" the plant's fragrance—the characteristic fragrance of the plant from which it is derived.[1] The term essential used here does not mean indispensable as with the terms essential amino acid or essential fatty acid which are so called since they are nutritionally required by a given living organism.[2] In contrast to fatty oils, essential oils typically evaporate completely without leaving a stain or residue.
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